Laura Guido-Clark is a color, materials and finishes consultant and has spent her life studying the always new and surprising ways that human beings react to the look and feel of any given product.
Throughout her career, Guido-Clark has Pilgrims Unit Study analyzed the conscious and unconscious influences that drive buying decisions and translated those influences into prescient forecasting and ultimately into concrete applications of color and finish. Her unique take on design is reflected through her studio’s extensive client list, including IDEO, Pentagram, Design Within Reach, InterfaceFLOR, Coalesse/Steelcase, HBF Textiles, Samsung, Apple and more.
What is your favorite example of great design?
My Mini Cooper! It’s perfect because it doesn’t take itself seriously.
It’s simultaneously old and new. It’s small, but has a big heart. They art directed the entire experience from the moment it starts production to the minute it emerges, as if you’ve given birth to it. The colors are relevant and dominantly joyful. The exaggerated interior has simple but useful materials. The language created around the owner’s experience connects you to a larger community, culture. It is something that makes me happy. I feel totally satiated with it – and feel no need to look around or play the field. I’m in love.
What is the most memorable moment in your career as a designer?
I’d have to say hearing Li Edelkoort speak was incredibly memorable and validating about how I was thinking about design. She was a woman taking something deeper. She spoke about seeing not one dimensionally, but three dimensionally. About how the world is a big circle – one dot connecting to the next. It was a language I understood, embraced and to which I wanted my work to relate. It was inspiring and validating that I was moving in the right direction. I realized that feeling like I was emotional conduit or radar was exactly where I needed to be.
What is the most important factor that influences and/or inspires your design process?
The human heart and humor are the two factors that inspire and influence me the most. It never fails to amaze me the capacity of depth, understanding and empathy you can tap into when all pretense is stripped away and you get to what really matters. I like thinking about the raw potential of a product, interior, color or material and what it can do to transform and inspire the human being who is interacting with it. I think about it almost in terms of play acting and pose hypothetical questions or imagine myself going through different scenes. When I enter a store and am bombarded with a sea of choices, what would catch my eye? What would I relate to? What would make me want to engage or touch it? What makes me need or want it? And if I am truly lucky, what would tickle my funny bone and provide a reprieve in this current trying time?